Unfortunately many of us in New Orleans take waste management for granted. But often we are not able to understand fully why it is essential not only to us, but to the environment and the planet as well.
Each household in Louisiana produces both organic and inorganic waste. Handling this refuse on a regular basis requires us to define a plan as collection and disposal are essential parts of the management of that junk.
All the detritus you have accumulated at home over time have to be disposed of properly because there could be some waste that might cause health problems down the line. And not just that, it is a matter of cleanliness.
There are three main types of rubbish, and these include organic waste, toxic waste and recyclable waste.
Organic waste also commonly known as green waste includes leftover vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, peelings of fruit and vegetable, egg shells and garden and lawn clippings.
These common detritus are normally bio-degradable. When we say bio-degradable, it means they are able to decompose by bacteria or other living organisms over a short period of time.
Most of the home trash we produce daily can be classified as organic waste. These items can easily be transformed into reusable materials such as made into high-quality compost if appropriately preserved at home.
On the other hand when such bio-degradable organic material is sent to landfill sites, it will decay and in the process, it will generate methane gas which is very harmful to the environment and can cause unpredictable explosions. So of course this is to be avoided.
What are these toxic wastes? These come from paints, bulbs, old medicines, chemicals, fertilizer and pesticide containers, spray cans, shoe polish and batteries.
These also include any unwanted material in all forms that may put our health at risk (anything harmful when inhaled, swallowed or absorbed by the skin). Many household products like televisions, electronics, computers and mobile phones have toxic chemicals in them that can damage the air and contaminate our water and soil. Disposing of these toxic materials is a significant public health duty.
Finally recyclable household products include paper, glass, and cardboard, metal, tires, plastic, some electronics and textiles. The process of composting or reusing of biodegradable waste like food and garden waste is classified as recycling too.
These toxic and recyclable wastes are considered as inorganic waste. They are not biodegradable, so they should be disposed of differently from organic waste. Inappropriate dumping of these items in open grounds may contaminate the soil in Lousiana which could lead to severe damage to the environment and people’s health.
Another classification of waste is e-waste also known as electronic waste. These are mainly old electronic parts which are meant for reuse, recycling or disposal. But nowadays there is no law being implemented to monitor the disposal of e-waste.
These electronic waste mostly contain contaminants like cadmium, lead, brominated flame retardants and some other dangerous chemicals. When they are not scientifically disposed or recycled, there is a great hazard to the health of the personnel involved in this process.
So how should we manage all these waste materials effectively?
1. Reduce the burden of collecting this garbage by avoiding bringing in plastic bags at home. You should practice regular disposal so waste won’t accumulate in your home. And by doing so you won’t also attract cockroaches, flies and ants at home as these insects breed in the trash.
2. Do not bring home goods that have multi-layered packaging. Limit accumulating these plastics by removing all the packaging of the item after you have purchased them.
3. Separate organic and inorganic junk by using collection bins for segregation. Never put these scraps in the same container.
4. Compost organic garbage. You can find helpful information on the internet on how to compost. This process is not only beneficial in the disposal but also economical. You can save money as you get a valuable compost for your kitchen garden.
5. Rent a dumpster. If you start to notice too much junk, trash and unnecessary objects in your home, rent a roll-off dumpster so you can get rid of all of it at once.